Criminal assault is defined as an attempted battery, and criminal battery is defined as an unauthorized application of force against someone. The force must have resulted in an offensive touch or an actual bodily injury. Washington State recognizes four degrees, or four different levels, of assault. Third degree assault is charged when a person’s criminally negligent actions lead to the death or great bodily harm to another person while using a deadly weapon.

What is Assault in the Third Degree?

Assault in the third degree is committed when a person:

  • Causes an attempted battery on a public transportation or school bus driver
  • Causes an attempted battery to stop an officer from taking the individual into custody or prevent lawful order in the court
  • Cause an attempted battery on a health care provider, nurse, or physician
  • Cause an attempted battery on a police officer or firefighter
  • Causes bodily harm to another person with a weapon

What is Criminal Negligence?

Criminal negligence is defined as conduct that grossly deviates from reasonable, normal standards of an ordinary individual. The defendant is criminally negligent if their actions show an indifference or disregard for human life or for people’s safety.

What is the Criminal Punishment for Assault in the Third Degree in Washington State?

Third degree assault is charged as a class C felony. A class C felony conviction is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Third degree assault is also considered a level III offense. This means a defendant with a no criminal record could be sentenced to 1 to 3 months in prison, but a defendant with a criminal record could get as much as 43 months in prison.

Should I Contact a Lawyer about My Third Degree Assault Charge?

Yes. You want to fight this charge to avoid serious criminal consequences. Contact a Washington criminal lawyer immediately.